Criminal law and family law are parallel lines that never meet. For this reason, a criminal defence lawyer can never help you get a divorce, while a family lawyer can not defend you against criminal charges. So unlike the popular misconception amongst people, it is not enough to attain advice about your specific circumstances from any lawyer. The lawyer you consult must be well-versed in the specific branch of law that affects your affairs.
While these parallel lines never intersect, some of their aspects act as transversals between the two. One such aspect that exists in both branches of law is domestic violence.
In Canada, domestic assault is a common ground for divorce. However, the victim often opts for an uncontested divorce to avoid the daunting procedures of a contested divorce. Little do they know that they are actually concealing a criminal offence. While domestic violence has serious effects on child guardianship arrangements in family law, it is also considered a serious criminal offence.
On the other hand, some disgruntled spouses or partners will even frame their counterparts for vengeance. If you are facing domestic assault charges, then seek legal counsel from a reputed domestic assault lawyer in Edmonton. A domestic assault lawyer will not only guide you through the situation but also prepare a top-notch defence to avoid a conviction.
In order to give you a comprehensive overview of the matter, this blog post will systematically explain domestic violence, its types, relevant legislation, and the impacts of domestic assault charges in Alberta.
The Legal Definition Of Domestic Assault
The Criminal Code of Canada does not provide a specific definition of domestic violence. However, any act of simple assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, sexual assault, psychological torment, and any threats thereof in a domestic setting are regarded as a serious offence in Alberta and throughout Canada.
Conventionally, domestic violence simply meant physical abuse against women by their husbands. However, as intimate relations evolved, the need for the legal system to become more inclusive also flared.
So today, the Canadian judicial system views every type of physical or emotional abuse of power or coercion by one party toward the other in an intimate partner relationship, regardless of the victim’s gender, as domestic assault. The laws even extend to include violence against children by any family member as domestic violence.
Resultantly, the term ‘family violence’ provides a better picture of the offence. Likewise, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is the preferred term to refer to any kind of abuse by one partner to another.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that “domestic” does not necessarily mean “inside the same house.” Domestic violence is defined as any assault on two people while they are in a relationship (regardless of their sexual orientation), even if they do not live together.
Most Prominent Types Of Domestic Assault Charges In Alberta
Many people falsely believe that as long as they do not physically hurt their spouse or any family member, they are not doing anything wrong. Contrarily, their lack of knowledge often lands them in some trouble with the legal system.
In Alberta, the most common type of domestic assault charges you may face include the following:
- Physical abuse such as pushing, slapping, punching
- Criminal harassment or stalking, either physically or online
- Sexual abuse, including forceful acts, making pornographic videos, and use of degrading comments
- Emotional abuse, such as insults, humiliation and threats
- Financial abuse, including restricting access to finances and control of money
- Use of spiritual beliefs as a way to dominate
- Unfairly controlling reproductive choices
- Coercive control
If you are facing any such domestic assault charges, request high-end domestic assault defence services from a reputed and experienced domestic assault lawyer.
Relevant Federal And Provincial Legislation
Since family violence is a highly sensitive topic, it is not surprising to see that numerous federal and provincial legislations account for it. While the Criminal Code simply recognizes all types of assaults in a domestic setting as family violence, there are also some provincial laws to specifically address the issue.
The Impact Of Domestic Violence Charges In Alberta
Assault directed toward an intimate partner or a child is treated rather seriously not only in Alberta but across Alberta. This is because the family member is usually in a position of trust, and misuse of such an authority or position is considered absurd.
For this reason, domestic assault results in harsher punishments than those for general assaults. Besides the reputational damage and societal stigma, a conviction for domestic assault may result in a criminal record, probation, DNA order, and imprisonment.
Consequently, it is important to have a reputed domestic assault lawyer by your side when facing such charges.
About Slaferek Law
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